WSOP Main Event Final Table Bubble Boys

[LL] “I’m so disappointed the Daniel Negreanu didn’t make the November Nine”, Leroy the Lion lamented.

[SS] “Sadly, that’s the second time he’s finished 11th in the WSOP Main Event, as he also did it fourteen years ago”, Stan the Stat added.

[RR] “Who was the Final Table bubble boy?” Roderick the Rock inquired.

[SS] “Nobody you’ve heard of before. Alexander Turyansky.”

[LL] “Well, he’s famous now.”

[SS] “Absolutely!” Stan agreed. “Since the post-Moneymaker poker boom, making the final table of the World Series of Poker Main Event has become an incredible accomplishment. Being the final table bubble boy is painful but praiseworthy, much more so than being the money bubble boy. Here are the fifteen players who just missed reaching the final table since 2001, when the final table expanded from six players to nine:

WSOP Main Event Final Table Bubble Boys Since 2001

Year Bubble Boy Prize Notes
2001 Arturo Diaz $63,940 The Californian edged out Daniel Negreanu, who finished 11th.
2002 Don Barton $70,000 The Nevadan had finished 15th for $55,945 the previous year.
2003 Phil Ivey $82,700 The living legend went on to reach the Main Event final table in 2009, finishing 7th for $1,404,014.
2004 Marcel Luske $373,000 The Flying Dutchman had finished in 14th for $65,000 the previous year.
2005 Ayhan Alsancak $600,000 The Swede had finished 71st for $30,000 the previous year.
2006 Fred Goldberg $1,154,527 The Floridian went on to capture a bracelet in the $1,500 Mixed Hold ‘Em event the next year.
2007 Steve Garfinkle $476,926 The Washingtonian edged out Scotty Nguyen, who finished 11th.
2008 Dean Hamrick $591,869 The Michigander became the first November Nine bubble boy but went on to win a bracelet in a $1,500 No Limit Hold ‘Em event in 2010.
2009 Jordan Smith $896,730 The Texan had just won a bracelet in a $2,000 No Limit Hold ‘Em event three weeks earlier.
2010 Brandon Steven $635,011 The Kansas won an almost identical prize ($621,180) for placing 7th in the 2013 One Drop High Roller.
2011 John Hewitt $607,882 The Californian only has one other WSOP cash, and it was four weeks earlier.
2012 Gaelle Baumann $590,442 The Frenchwoman edged out the other woman in the final eleven, Elisabeth Hille.
2013 Carlos Mortensen $573,204 The 2001 Main Event Champion has also won a $5,000 Limit Hold ‘Em event in 2003 and three WPT titles.
2014 Luis Velador $565,193 The Californian won bracelets in a $1,500 No Limit Hold ‘Em event in 2008 and a $2,500 Pot Limit Hold ‘Em/Omaha event in 2010.
2015 Alexander Turyansky $756,897 The German was knocked out when his A♣K♥ was outraced by chip leader Joe McKeehen’s Q♥Q♣. Negreanu finished 11th again.
2016 Josh Weiss1 $650,000 The American was very short when the unofficial final table began; he ultimately shoved A♦8♣ with so few chips that both blinds called. Gordon Vayo (Q♥7♠) and Michael Ruane (J♦5♥) checked it down to eliminate Weiss on a J♠7♥3♥5♣4♣ board.
2017 Michael Ruane $825,001 The New Jersey pro narrowly missed a second consecutive final table when his Ace-King lost a race to Bryan Piccioli’s Tens before Damian Salas put him away with Jacks against Ace-Six two hands later.
2018 Yueqi Zhu $850,025 The Californian, who also goes by the name Rich, was fairly short-stacked but in fifth place when he picked up pocket Kings, only to run into Nicholas Manion’s pocket Aces. Worse still, Antoine Labat had the other two Kings! Zhu had won the Mixed $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better earlier in the summer.


  • Between 1981 and 2000, 7th place finishers included 1978 champion Bobby Baldwin (1981), three-time champion Johnny Moss (1985), 1983 runner-up Rod Peate (1990), two-time champion Johnny Chan (1992), and 2009 November Niner Jeff Shulman (2000).
  • Seven of the fifteen final table bubble boys since 2001 have a WSOP bracelet.
  • In 2006, Goldberg won more prize money for tenth place than every champion before 2000 got for winning.”


  1. { Update: added 2018 and 2017 Bubble Boys on April 12, 2019 and 2016 Bubble Boy on May 8, 2017. }


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Brought to you by THETA Poker Pro for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Apple TV.